Uncorkings: Beam Inc. Sells Several Value Spirits Brands to Luxco Inc.

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine and spirits.


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Beam Inc. has sold several of its value spirits brands to Luxco Inc., a privately held producer and marketer of spirits and liqueurs. The $65-million purchase included the brands Bellows (blended whiskey, Bourbon, gin, rum, Scotch and vodka), Calvert (Lord Calvert Canadian, Calvert Extra and gin), Dark Eyes Vodka, Canada House Blended Canadian Whiskey, Tempo Triple Sec and Wolfschmidt Vodka. In 2012, roughly 1.8-million cases of the now-acquired brands were sold, which amounted to approximately $30 million in revenue.

SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya Premium Vodka, has appointed John Esposito president of its U.S. operations, effective immediately. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. drinks industry, Esposito was most recently president and CEO of Bacardi North America.

Bill Price, owner of Classic Wines, LLC, and Price Family Vineyards, LLC, has purchased Gap’s Crown, a Sonoma Coast, California-based vineyard that supplies Pinot Noir to producers including Kosta Browne and Patz & Hall. Located in the cool Petaluma Gap, the 138-acre vineyard includes 106 acres of Pinot Noir and 32 acres of Chardonnay.

A team representing the Yale Law School Wine Society in New Haven, Connecticut, has earned first place in the U.S. Intercollegiate Bordeaux tasting championship. At the event, which took place January 22 at the French Consulate in New York City, Yale ousted rivals from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania law schools. The winners will travel to Château Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux, France, in June to compete against other collegiate teams from China, France and the United Kingdom.

Guy Fieri, star of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has submitted an application to open a public wine tasting room and event space on his five-acre vineyard located in California’s Russian River Valley, which he purchased in 2012. Fieri has requested permission to build an Italian piazza, kitchen space and tasting room to host 14 events per year for 100 or more guests. Before the county approves the application, county officials will review the results of a study underlining the environmental impact the event space could have on the surrounding neighborhood.

Chile’s Lapostolle has opened Casa Parrón, the winery’s second eatery, the first to be open to the general public. The restaurant offers French-inspired Chilean cuisine, using ingredients harvested from the Lapostolle’s own organic and biodynamic gardens, and is paired with Lapostolle wines.

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